The NFL will change the handling procedure for footballs in the wake of the Deflategate debacle that took place in January. FOX Sports is reporting that the changes will be implemented this coming season and include the following.
1. Each team will provide 24 footballs, 12 primary and 12 to be used as backups, to the officials prior to the game.
2. Two officials will check the footballs and ensure they meet all specifications.
3. The footballs will be numbered and then each football will have its PSI checked and recorded.
4. Any ball found to be below or above the range of 12.5 to 13.5 PSI will be brought to 13.0 PSI.
5. The kicking ball coordinator, a league hired position, will be in possession of the balls until they are delivered to the team’s ball crew 10 minutes before play begins.
6. The footballs will again be checked at halftime by the two designated league officials.
The first question I would have for the NFL is why wasn’t this type of policy in place before the Deflatgate mess even happened? Players are going to look to gain an edge anywhere they can so why would the NFL ever think leaving the balls in the teams hands was a good idea?
The second question I have for the league is why is it taking so long for a ruling on Tom Brady’s suspension? This nonsense has been going on for six months. As reported on earlier here at the Inquisitr, Brady met with the league for his appeal more than a month ago. It seems like the NFL is moving at a glacier pace and if this drags on past when training camp starts, then the NFL needs to look into its policies on how these matters are dealt with. The New England Patriots and Brady should know where they stand by now, and the league is doing them a great disservice by not giving them a ruling.
One final question for the NFL is why such a big deal being made over this whole affair? Even if Brady is the ringleader of footballs being deflated, the idea that such an action deserves to lose a quarter of a season is ludicrous. deflating footballs is equal to using sandpaper to scuff up a baseball. For that infraction a baseball player gets suspended 10 games or one-sixteenth of the season. At most, Brady deserved a one-game suspension, but instead he got a four-game suspension without any real proof.
It is time for the NFL to move on from deflated footballs and take care of the bigger issues the league and the game faces, such as the joke that is Thursday Night Football and keeping players off of the police blotter.
[Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]